5% Weight Loss, Yes It Counts!
OK, so you have been gaining a little weight over the past few years. Last checkup, you were significantly farther north of your ideal weight than you thought. You are now significantly beyond that healthy BMI you keep hearing about and it just seems like too much work to try to get it off. A few pounds would have been easy enough to lose, but a few pounds aren’t going to help you now—or is it?
When we think about weight loss, we often use our ideal body weight as a standard for where our weight needs to be. Being overweight is often accompanied by high blood pressure, elevations in blood fats like triglycerides and cholesterol, high blood glucose, and even sleep apnea problems. In my line of work I often hear, “But 30-50 lbs is just too much to lose right now. And if I don’t lose that much it won’t do me any good, will it?”
That mentality of thinking is incorrect. Losing 5-10% of your current weight can do amazing things and if you keep that weight off, the positive effects remain in place. In some cases, it can allow you to wean off the CPAP breathing machine you have to use for sleep apnea. It can significantly reduce the inflammatory substances in your body that help cause blood vessel disease that turns into a heart attack or stroke. You can drop your triglycerides (which might otherwise drop you with a heart attack) by 40 full points. Add a little exercise and cut out some junk food and you can improve on this even more. Both your diastolic and systolic blood pressure can drop 5 points and even more with a little less salt and a few other healthy eating choices. With this relatively small weight loss you can drop your blood sugar significantly too. And all of this reduces your risk of heart attack and diabetes.
So there is some good news for a change! Now that you know, set a weight loss goal. Set your goal at 5%. When you make it, reward yourself and shoot for 10%. The “cost” of the changes you will have to make is relatively low with plenty of “benefits” not far down the road. Good luck and stay safe and well!
Posted by Larry Catlett, MD, OMC WellnessWorks
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